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Friday, June 10, 2005

nhl- Buffalo Partner wants $400m TV Contract

from the Buffalo News, "We should be looking at a national TV contract of $400 million, not $60 million."
ESPN announced last week it was no longer interested in doing business with the moribund NHL, and $60 million in potential revenues disappeared.
The prominent cable company's evacuation seemed a grim blow for the league, a development that should send chills especially through the front offices of smaller-market franchises scratching to eke out an existence.
Instead of a shudder, the Buffalo Sabres shrugged.
The Sabres, financially strapped for years before the lockout, stand to lose their $2 million share unless another network steps in to accept ESPN's role.
But Sabres executives are unanimous in their assertion the NHL will be worth so much more once a new collective bargaining agreement is in place and modifications are made to make the game more alluring.
"If we're worried about a $60 million contract, then where's our business going?" Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn said at the NHL's Research and Development Camp in Etobicoke, Ont., where some radical on-ice rule changes are being tested. "ESPN (pulling out of negotiations) didn't register with me at all. I'm not worried about it.
"Sixty-million bucks was $2 million a team. If we're worried about $2 million a team, we're looking at it completely the wrong way. I think we should be looking at a national TV contract of $400 million, not $60 million. I think we can get there. I really do."...more...